Sunday, October 17

Player Grades: Old Warrior Smith and New Warrior Hyman Shine Shine When Edmonton Oilers beat Vancouver in OT

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The Edmonton Oilers came out cold in the first, but goalie Mike Smith held them back, making numerous huge saves. He was Edmonton’s ace for more than two periods, but gave up two lucky hits in the third, an outside shot from his own teammate and another outside shot that Smith simply missed as he leaned in the wrong direction.

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But the great Smith redeemed himself, making big saves in overtime and on penalties, with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Kyle Turris scoring goals on penalties for the victory.

The scoring chances were Edmonton with 10 and Vancouver with 15 ( current account ).

Connor McDavid, 7 years old. His line never got him going much with uniform force and he allowed too many Grade A chances, but McDavid had his moments, being the lead man in both of Edmonton’s goals. The first thing he got on the net this year was Quinn Hughes, when the Canucks d-man quickly obstructed him and he was brought down. He then nearly deflected on an own goal, kicking a rebound on an Oliver Ekman-Larsson shot over Smith. His loss in the outer zone led to Bo Horvat’s first term breakaway. He got his first point of the year rolling in the zone or, cutting a pass to Nurse, who shot with Puljujarvi blocking the rebound. At the end of the second, he cut a pass to Draisaitl, who cut it low to Hyman for a power play goal.

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Leon Draisitl, 3. It is not their game. Not even close. He even missed the net on an overtime open shot. Asleep he walked through the first, with a series of turnovers, one of them leading a Vancouver 4v2 run and a Grade B slap from the high slot. He was slow on the backcheck again, allowing a grade 2-on-1 shot from former Oilers winger Alex Chiasson. Hoglander walked him into the slot in the second, prompting a 5-alarm shot by Burroughs and a dangerous engulfing shot by Hoglander in the continuation. He was unable to drain his shooting blast.

Jesse Puljujarvi, 7 years old. It seemed sharp. He popped a puck on the check at the end of the first, setting up a Grade A shot for Draisaitl. He scored on Nurse’s rebound a moment later.

Zach Hyman, 8 years old. Seven more years of games like this, please . Impressed by his hustle and skill. He protected the puck well in the corner and put it in the slot for a dangerous shot. He won a tough battle in the PK early in the second and it cooled him down. A loud board game in his own zone caused him to kick a sequence of 5 alarms that culminated in Yamamoto’s escape. Rewarded for all his hard work with a super easy goal from big passes from Drai and McD. He had several strong lunges on the ice.

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Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, 7 years old. He led Oil’s best line early in the game, perhaps because he had his best wingers since centering Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle. He almost scored after a great line play early in the first. Inadvertently, he strayed on Oliver Ekman-Larsson’s third-period outside shot. A little slow in OT on Tanner Pearson’s backcheck. But he scored in overtime, going to the top shelf, where Mom keeps the cookies, as legendary skills coach Jim Fleming likes to say.

Kailer Yamamoto, 6 years old. He blended well with his linemates from the start. He broke into a breakaway in the second period but failed to score.

Warren Foegele, 6 years old. Some good crashes and punches early in the game around the Vancouver net, they won a battle of pucks and put Ryan in a tight position. He nearly scored on a hammer on an engulfing attempt.

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Derek Ryan, 5 years old. Solid start, easy game.

Colton Sceviour, 6. He almost scored on Ryan’s slot rebound. His loss triggered a nasty sharp-angle opportunity from Hoglander in the first. He came to Duncan Keith’s defense, challenging Tyler Myers to a fight, which I loved.

Brendan Perlini, 4 years old. Barely played, only 5:37 of ice time.

Ryan McLeod, 4 years old. Also barely played, 6:21 on ice.

Kyle Turris, 6 years old. His slow passing and fumble kicked off a Grade A sequence for the Canucks in the second. He scored on the penalty shootout for a bonus point, just like he gave the Oilers.

Nurse Darnell . He played 32:24, superhero minutes, and he played them well. He made some big mistakes, but he was an even stronger defensive player. He made a stinking loss on his first inning that led to a Grade A shot from Elias Pettersson. He broke a long Vancouver cycle at the end of the first with some hard shots. He smashed a Vancouver power gambling slot with a sliding block.

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Tyson Barrie, 3 years old. Iffy performance. Deked on his first shift, as the sneaky Pettersson headed for the net. He and Sceviour were both defeated by a bouncing puck when Hoglander fired a powerful shot at the net. He was out of position on Pettersson’s 5-alarm shot in the second. He kicked out Connor Garland’s feet for a poorly timed third-period penalty. He allowed an OT pass in the slot to Tanner Pearson. He was then paced by Pettersson with another 5 alarm. He lost the puck on his penalty shootout.

Duncan Keith, 7 years old. A very good and memorable debut. An excellent pinch and dump led to RNH’s big opportunity early in the first. A little later he made a strong takeoff in zone n to start a McDavid career on the net. But he allowed Bo Horvat to get behind him in a getaway opportunity. He was bloodied by a nasty blow from Tyler Myers in the second.

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Cody Ceci, 7 years old. Solid debut game. I didn’t notice him much, except when he made some notable stops and passes. Nice pass to send Yamamoto on the breakaway in the second. He screened Smith on Vancouver’s first goal.

Kris Russell, 4 years old. Hmm. It is not his best game. He allowed a slot pass on his first turn that led to a 5-alarm shot. He checked out Tanner Pearson with Mike Smith, leading to a power play in the third period.

Evan Bouchard, 7 years old. He showed off his class, cleverly making one pass after another. But on his first turn, he failed to cover Jason Dickinson in the slot on a dangerous shot. But he made several rough passes early in the game. He was dispatched with Nurse in Oil’s first PK unit. He got off a Bouch bomb in the third, which RNH nearly jammed at home. It also broke an outer balloon from the crossbar.

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Mike Smith, 8 years old. He kept the Oilers up early, making big saves from Pettersson, Dickson and a rebound from McDavid. In the second, he went back up like a bloody mountain with Chiasson’s shot, Horvat’s redirect play, Burrough’s slot, Hoglander’s turn in the fight, and two one-time power plays, first by Chiasson, then by Pettersson. But he let in a super-weak late on an outside shot, where he looked like he was caught guessing. Maybe Pettersson examined it a bit in that case, but that’s not how I saw it. He redeemed himself with brilliant stops over Tanner Pearson and Pettersson in OT.

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Reference-edmontonjournal.com

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